Santa Maria de León Cathedral

Santa Maria de León Cathedral

Date begun 1240s

Movement Spanish Gothic

Located at León, Spain

 

Romanesque and Gothic styles were welcomed by Spain’s monarchy as a way to distinguish their structures from Muslim ones. León’s plan draws significantly from Reims, especially with its five radiating chapels at the apse. This grand cathedral was built, in part, as a way to elevate León’s status as a royal city; drawing inspiration from Reims was especially strategic, as that cathedral was used as the coronation setting for the French monarchy. However, León’s elevation is more advanced than that of Reims’—note the lancet windows that recall those of the Sainte-Chapelle. Reims’ influence is clear in the jamb statues here as well—figures are elongated and garments are neatly arranged with clean folds.